Recently, Confuzzled (hi!) opened a thread about a seed of doubt that she planted on her "Dubby" (her word; a nice one, Confuzzled). I want to copy a few paragraphs for you guys, just to know if this would have made you question your beliefs when you were Dubbies. Partricularly if you are women.
"My parents brought me up to be a Muslim - a good Muslim. Islam dominated the lives of our family and our relations down to the smallest detail. It was our ideology, our political conviction, our moral standard, our law, and our identity. We were first and foremost Muslim and only then Somali. Muslims, as we were taught the meaning of the name, are people who submit themselves to Allah's will, which is found in the Koran and the Hadith, a collection of sayings ascribed to the Prophet Muhammad. I was taught that Islam sets us apart from the rest of the world, the world of non-Muslims. We Muslims are chosen by God. They, the others, the kaffirs, the unbelievers, are antisocial, impure, barbaric, not circumsided, immoral, unscrupulous, and, above all, obscene; they have no respect for women; their girls and women are whores; many of the men are homosexual; men and women have sex without being married. The unfaithful are cursed, and God will punish them most atrociously in the hereafter.
When my sister and I were small, we would occasionally make remarks about nice people who were not Muslim, but my mother and grandmother would always say, "No, they are not good people. They know about the Koran and the Prophet and Allah, and yet they haven't come to see that the only thing a person can be is Muslim. They are blind. If they were such nice and good people, they would have become Muslims and then Allah would protect them against evil. But it is up to them. If they become Muslims, they will go to Paradise".
There are also Christians and Jews who raise their children in the belief that they are God's chosen people, but among Muslims the feeling that God has granted them special salvation goes further...
... The first of these is that a Muslim's relationship with his God is one of fear. A Muslim's conception of God is absolute. Our God demands total submission. He rewards you if you follow His rules meticulously. He punishes you cruelly if you break His rules, both on earth, with illness and natural disasters, and in the hereafter, with hellfire.
The second element is that Islam knows only one moral source: the Prophet Muhammad. Muhammad is infallible. You would almost believe he is himself a God, but the Koran says explicitly that Muhammad is a human being; he is a supreme human being, though, the most perfect human being. We must live our lives according to his example. What is written in the Koran is what God said as it was heard by Muhammad. The thousands of hadiths - accounts of what Muhammad said and did, and the advice he gave, which survives in his weighty books- tell us exactly how a Muslim was supposed to live in the seventh century. Devout Muslims consult these works daily to answer questions about life in the twenty-first century.
The third element is that Islam is strongly dominated by a sexual morality derived from tribal Arab values dating from the time the Prophet received his instructions from Allah, a culture in which women where the property of their fathers, brothers, uncles, grandfathers or guardians. The essence of a woman is reduced to her hymen. Her veil functions as a constant reminder to the outside world of this stifling morality that makes Muslim men the owners of women and obliges them to prevent their mothers, sisters, aunts, sisters-in-law, cousins, nieces and wives from having sexual contact. And we are not just talking about cohabitation. It is an offense if a woman glaces in the direction of a man, brushes past his arm, or shakes his hand. A man's reputation and honor depend entirely on the respectable, obedient behavior of the female members of his family"
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, "The Caged Virgin".